Column vertical alignment in twocolumn mode

I would like to achieve a column alignment in twocolumn (note: I need to place many pictures so multicol environment is not an option) and place the letters directly after aligned two column text. The ME differs from this correct answer in not setting the letters on the next page.

\documentclass[10pt,a4paper,twocolumn]{extbook}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}

\newcommand*{\dictchar}[1]{
%\clearpage
\centerline{\parbox[c][3cm][c]{2cm}{%
\fontsize{24}{24}
\selectfont
{#1}}}\par
}

% DICTIONARY PAGE STYLE
\fancypagestyle{dictstyle}{%
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0.4pt}
\fancyhf{}
\fancyhead[LE,LO]{{\fontfamily{phv}\selectfont{\textbf{\rightmark}}}}
\fancyhead[CO,CE]{\thepage}%the page numbers will be printed when the dictionary is ready
\fancyhead[RE,RO]{{\fontfamily{phv}\selectfont{\textbf{\leftmark}}}}}

% middle rule
\setlength{\columnsep}{20pt}
\setlength{\columnseprule}{0.1pt}

\begin{document}
\twocolumn
\pagestyle{dictstyle}

\dictchar{E e}

\lipsum[1-1]

\dictchar{F f}
\lipsum[1-2]

\dictchar{G g}
\lipsum[3-20]

\end{document}


In other words I would like to typeset this:

• I don't understand the question. Do you want to reduce the vertical spacing before and after your \dictchar-macro content? – user31729 Jan 13 '15 at 8:16
• So you want to switch to onecolumn mode in between? – user31729 Jan 13 '15 at 8:38
• Yes, actually. But it envolves no pagebreak and the alignment of the rest of the headwords from the previous letter (in the picture is shown how headwords starting with O aligns, ozonometer is the last headword). – chejnik Jan 13 '15 at 9:00

1 Answer

The cuted package and it's strip environment provide the desired feature. (I reduced the height of the parbox however, since cuted seems to add a lot of vertical space.)

\documentclass[10pt,a4paper,twocolumn]{extbook}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\usepackage{cuted}

\newcommand{\dictchar}[1]{%
\begin{strip}
\centering
\parbox[c][1cm][c]{2cm}{%
\centering
\fontsize{24}{24}
\selectfont
{#1}%
}
\end{strip}
}

% DICTIONARY PAGE STYLE
\fancypagestyle{dictstyle}{%
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0.4pt}
\fancyhf{}
\fancyhead[LE,LO]{{\fontfamily{phv}\selectfont{\textbf{\rightmark}}}}
\fancyhead[CO,CE]{\thepage}%the page numbers will be printed when the dictionary is ready
\fancyhead[RE,RO]{{\fontfamily{phv}\selectfont{\textbf{\leftmark}}}}}

% middle rule
\setlength{\columnsep}{20pt}
\setlength{\columnseprule}{0.1pt}

\begin{document}
\pagestyle{dictstyle}

\dictchar{E e}
\lipsum[2]

\dictchar{F f}
\lipsum[1-2]

\dictchar{G g}
\lipsum[3-20]

\end{document}


• That is correct and answer to my question. Unfortunately pictures cause wrong placement. I should probably start new question. – chejnik Jan 14 '15 at 6:10
• There's a continuation of this question here – chejnik Jan 14 '15 at 7:07